Can I Sue The Government For Accidents Caused by Road Hazards?

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | March 18, 2015
Can I Sue The Government For Accidents Caused by Road Hazards?

As the legislature in Missouri continues to fight over funding for road maintenance and repair, the roads continue to deteriorate. These poor road conditions may cause accidents which injure a driver or a passenger in a vehicle. Since the roads are generally maintained by the state or local governments, many individuals wonder if they can sue when there are injured due to the poor maintenance of the roads.

Who is Responsible for the Maintenance of the Roads?

While roads are maintained by the county, city and states, there are different governmental agencies which are responsible. For example, the street department might be responsible for filling pot holes and paving the roads while the city water department may be responsible for hazards caused by water main breaks.

Proving Negligence in a Car Accident

Obviously, it is not enough to just show who is responsible for the road maintenance or repair, a plaintiff must prove that the agency was negligent in its maintenance of the road. The plaintiff must show that the agency could have, and should have, repaired the road or that the road was built in a dangerous manner and was faulty in that regard.

Showing that the Road Hazard Caused the Injury

Besides identifying which agency was responsible for the maintenance and proving their negligent behavior, the plaintiff must show that the negligent behavior caused the injury. This can be difficult as accidents due to road hazards are commonly single car accidents. That means there may be no witnesses to the events. A plaintiff will need to hire an auto accident reconstructionist to show that the accident happened because of the negligent acts of the government agency that was responsible.

Limitations of Damages: MO Car Accident Lawyers

Most government agencies have immunity from lawsuits. In other words that cannot be sued. There are, though, exceptions which allow a plaintiff to sue them under certain conditions. Typically, the failure of a government agency in maintaining a roadway is one of those exceptions. Even if your case fails under one of the exceptions, there may be limits to the amount of damages that you can recover.

Hire an Experienced St. Louis Auto Accident Attorney

As you can see, suing a governmental agency for a road hazard can be a tricky thing. You need to hire an attorney who is familiar with these types of cases so they can properly navigate the law and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you have been in an accident due to a hazardous condition on the road, contact The Bruning Law Firm at 314-735-8100 and speak to one of our car accidents lawyers in St. Louis for a free consultation.


If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today. We provide the comprehensive, professional legal representation you deserve at a time when you need it most.

Call or contact our office online today to schedule a free consultation.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

Author's Bio

You Might Also Be Interested In